by Neal Schaffer
Once you move beyond the generic “add connections” option that
LinkedIn has, you might want to specifically search for and increase
your connections with people aligned with whatever connection policy you
might have. The challenge is that restrictions exist within LinkedIn
that may prevent you from inviting others you don’t personally know.
You are entitled to try to connect with people without knowing their
email address, but once five people respond to your invitation to
connect by nothing that they don’t know you, your ability to connect
will be restricted. So how to network on LinkedIn?
This is especially important because it is very difficult to message 2nd and 3rd degree connections.
Once you’ve decided to connect with professionals that aren’t part of
your network, chances are you will initially find them by doing
advanced people searches. If you are already an experienced user,
you’ll likely encounter people you might want to connect with everywhere
on LinkedIn. These people often appear on the “people you may know”
widget that is featured prominently in the top right-hand corner of your
LinkedIn home page and in group discussions. So, once you find someone
with whom you’d like to connect, follow these guidelines to complete
1) “Read” the profile: A LinkedIn profile
says a thousand things about someone’s attitude toward online
professional networking, and by thoroughly reading the profile, you can
determine how active a particular user is on the website. In general,
the more active people are on LinkedIn, the more they will understand
the value of business networking and thus the more willing they will be
to connect if you send a personalized invite. This is especially the
case if they are a LinkedIn LION or Open Networker.
2) Warm leads are always the best: As in real life,
how to network on LinkedIn is all about introductions through a “warm”
lead, someone your target connection actually knows who can make a
personal introduction on your behalf, often leads to the greatest
success. Rather than relying on a cold call or email, get in touch with
the person who connects the two of you and ask him or her for a formal
introduction. If your targeted user is a third-degree connection, find
someone who could facilitate an introduction between you and a person
who is actually connected to your targeted user. Your eventual goal is
to be introduced to your second-degree connection who can then
facilitate the introduction with your third-degree connection.
Read all 5 steps and the complete Neal Schaffer article